National carrier Air India has fallen in line with Beijing’s demand that Taiwan be referred to not as a separate country but as a province of China. The Air India website now refers to Taiwan airport as “Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei”.

On April 25, the Civil Aviation Authority of China had asked international airlines to change how Taiwan is described on their websites within 30 days, the Hindustan Times reported.

“There was a mail to the regional manager in Hong Kong from China Registry, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, wherein they have approved the nomenclatures to be used by Air India on its website in respect of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Macau Special Administrative Region of China and Chinese Taipei,” an unidentified Air India spokesperson said.

China has welcomed Air India’s decision and said foreign companies operating in the country must obey its laws and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, PTI reported.

“Our position on this issue is quite clear,” foreign ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said. “The Indian side and other countries must be clear about our position on this issue. Air India is respecting the basic fact that there is one China and Taiwan is part of China. We approve of that.”

China’s state-run daily Global Times had earlier criticised firms that refer to Chinese Taipei as Taiwan. “If foreign enterprises want to do business in China or their products are to enter the Chinese market, they must abide by Chinese laws,” the tabloid said on Wednesday. “If they refuse to make corrections when reminded, they are obviously supporting Taiwan independence and must face possible consequences or could even be thrown out of the Chinese market.”

The island nation of Taiwan governs itself democratically, but China considers it an integral part of its territory.

In June, two Japanese airlines had also renamed Taiwan on their websites. The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration had reportedly sent a notice to 36 foreign airlines in April, asking them to comply with Beijing’s standard of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.